When Abdiel—our grandnephew—was about three, his godfather gave him a bicycle for Christmas. At such a young age, he barely used it. We kept the bike at home, and every time he came over, we persuaded him to ride the bicycle. Two rounds inside the livingroom and that was it. He preferred to play with a bunch of multi-colored Hot Wheels toys my wife had given him. As he grew older, he learned how to ride the bicycle and abused it to such a degree, the poor bike can barely roll its wheels. Abdiel was screaming for a replacement. Screaming is a soft word, in fact he shouted so loud it could be heard by the natives in Timbuktu.
His father who drives a yellow taxi, is having a hard time buying all the stuff for the traditional Christmas and New Year’s dinner. There wasn’t money to spend on expensive toys. Abdiel wouldn’t take No for an answer. He wanted a new Raly bicycle for Christmas and that was it. Period. Alcibiades, the father, told us about the situation. I said, “No problem.” “Pass the hat amongst the closest relatives and friends and ask for money.” The 20-30 Club does it every year and rakes in millions of dollars. In Panama they call it the Annual Teletón. Two weeks ago they raised more than $5 million in just 48 hours.
Immediately I made a list of potential contributors and came up with $90.00 which was a little more than the cost of the bicycle. The next day the hat was passed out and money started to flow in. Now as much as we expected, but nonetheless, it was money the desperate father didn’t have.
To make a long story short, two days before Christmas Eve, the money was raised in its entirety, plus the bicycle dealer gave us a discount and the final price tag of the bicycle came down to $76 and change. Abdiel would have his bike.
Somehow, the word got to him and he cried and cried until his father brought him to our house to see the sparkling yellow bicycle. When he saw it, his eyes opened the size of a quarter and shouted, “Tengo bicicleta nueva.” (I have a new bicycle). He wanted to take it home, but we said not yet. Santa needed to inspect it before delivering it to his house on Christmas Eve. He understood Santa’s wishes and reluctantly went home empty-handed.
While he was home, I took a couple of shots of Abdiel, Karol and the bike to freeze the happy encounter. I’m sure these pictures will be viewed and reviewed again in the future while I’ll be looking at the Gardenias from the roots, if you know what I mean.
No more talking, now let’s take a look at the brand new bike and “The Twisters.” Here we go.
Photograph of Abdiel's brand new yellow bike which Santa or el Niño Dios, as we say here in Panama, gave him for Christmas. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
There are no sad faces in this picture. Abdiel can now pedal through his neighborhood to his heart's content. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
Karol the Hollywood wanna be, also posed with the flashing bike. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
Abdiel can't hide his emotions after seeing and feeling his new bicycle. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
Karol poses to the camera with absolute confidence. Natural born actress. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
Thanks to an iron will and very strong lungs, Abdiel finally got his two wheeler. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
Karol smiles because she knows, that one way or another, she will also ride the bike. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.
And now you know why this post is called Christmas on Wheels. Happy biking Abdiel. Good Day.
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